Ann Rickard.
Ann Rickard.

OPINION: Big cities to seduce you away from regional life

FOR the past 22 years I've lived in a small regional town - a beautiful one, Noosa, - but a small town.

When I left Melbourne for a regional town it never occurred to me that I would the miss the city and all the excitement and convenience that went with it.

And I didn't.

Not one single small part of anything.

Obviously I was always meant to be a regional gal.

I was born in London, lived three decades in Melbourne, and have visited most of the world's great cities.

From Rome to Paris, New York to Madrid, Barcelona to Florence, Berlin and Zurich (okay, now I'm just showing off) I have visited all the iconic cities.

Some I've stayed in for some time (really showing off now).

Now that I am thoroughly regional, I sometimes wonder what it might be like to live for one entire year in a big city far from here.

To see it through the eyes of a local, learn its nuances, live through its four distinctive seasons.

New York would be good, I think.

The spring aliveness, the summer heat, the golden bronze of autumn, the cold and snow of winter.

I'd have to get used to living in an apartment, that would be a challenge.

I wonder how I'd feel not being able to go outside to hang out the washing? (I could hang it out the window on a long pole if I lived in Hong Kong but I don't think sophisticated New Yorkers would take kindly to seeing my big knickers flapping about up there outside the 16th floor window).

Hanging out the washing aside, I imagine it would be nice to go down in the lift (sorry, elevator) and find a shop (sorry, grocery store) either right below me or just a few paces away.

If I ran out of frozen peas it would be good to know I have only to go downstairs and there will be some not far away.

It matters not that I never eat frozen peas, it's good to know they are down there available 24/7.

The convenience of vibrant city living would soon seduce me.

It would be good to have a dry cleaner, coffee shop, bakery, hairdresser, bar and cafe all within a few metres of my apartment.

Getting up on a Saturday morning and wondering which fabulous exhibition in which gorgeous gallery I might visit would be pretty cool.

After a year in New York, I think I'd like a year in Paris.

All the above conveniences would apply along with the bonus of being able to say "bonjour" and kiss cheeks a dozen times a day.

I could eat a lot of cheese, ponce about with a baguette under my arm and learn a new language.

Yes, definitely Paris after New York.

If only.

If only we could turn our travel fantasies into reality.

Excuse me now I've off to buy a Tatts lotto ticket.